Yeah. I wasn’t getting at you with that comment.
But I would add a couple of points.
Your reviews are, in the general arena of reviews, VERY unusual. The first reason for tha is the breadth and depth. In anything resembling the normal scope of reviews, most of which are paid-for, one way or another, few if any organisations can or would pay for the time they take. Very few freelancers could afford to do it and no staff writers, in my experience, would be given the time. And that, of course, is why they’re so, SO useful - you realistically can’t buy that level of expertise in that level of depth.
The second point is a bit different. This does vary, publication to publication, but (again, in my experience) most publications draw a line between a review and a preview. The more professional publications, at least in the tech world which was my old bag, are generally pretty careful not to call it a review until it’s a product the public can buy, for the simple reason that until that final, publicly-available version ships, you can’t be sure even that the feature set is complete, and/or the performance will be the same. Some publications go as far as to only “review” products they’ve bought, often anonymously, if only to ensure they don’t get hand-crafted versions, or specially selected “golden” samples.
That is, these days, hard to do in the online world because the window for getting hits, visits, page impressions, whatever you want to measure, is so tight (in the tech world). You release a “review” 48 hours after your competitors and you might as well not bother, as such a high percentage of viewing public have read about it elsewhere by then, and moved on. Historically, it has been far from unusual for less scrupulous (and no, I won’t name names) manufacturers to even sent press software tweaked to perform well in the benchmarks they’re known to run.
If memory serves, you’ve pointed out in some reviews at least, that your assessment is based on an early machine, and is subject to revision. That kind of early detailed look has a value all of it’s own, especially where the process involves feedback to the manufacturer precisely so they can tweak bits that need tweaking. I’d call that a preview rather than a review, and sure, ball-park price is enough then, but in the absence of some yardstick of final price, it is surely very hard to judge whether component choice and manufacturing standards are of the standard buyers would expect at that price. I mean, the engineering, the leather and wood panelling etc in a Bentley or Aston Martin aren’t likely to be found in your budget-friendly Vauxhall or Ford,
In short, in general, I don’t regard it as a proper review unless price is known and product available. But I’d stress that “general” bit.
For my purposes, in deciding if the subject of a review is a contender to be bought, a guide to approximate price is necessary. But different people will see it different ways. I’ve probably got a small range in mind and if I’m after, say, a £500 grinder and looking at a Niche, I might well be convinced to go up to £750 (-ish) provided there was a good enough reason. Some people will be pushing it to the absolute limit to get to £500, and a heck of a lot would find even that out of reach. Others will spend £3k without batting an eyelid. I once saw a foreign royal buy over £250,000 of jewelry by handing over bundles of bound sterling banknotes over the bonnet of her Rolls.
Without some idea of price, it’s not possible to judge whether a reviewed product is viable or not …. unless you’re in that foreign princess category. I’m certainly not. Why waste my time when I’m researching something to buy by reading reviews of something I either can’t possibly afford, or am not prepared that much on, no matter how good it is?